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Key ingredients to lift your skin care woes

February 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
With so many products filling shelves at drugstores and department stores, it's helpful to know what ingredients target your specific skin care problems.Mary Reardon is on a mission to wash away fine lines and wrinkles.

"When I purchase skin care products, I'm really looking for something that's anti-aging and hydrates my skin," said Mary.

However, picking out the perfect products isn't always easy.

"I just felt like I was throwing away products every month," she said.

In throwing away products regularly, Mary is also throwing away money, and she isn't alone.

To help you put your best face forward, ABC7 teamed up with the American Academy of Dermatology to bring you a list of the hottest skin care ingredients to hit the market. Dermatologists say that they're popping up in everything from cleansers to creams.

"The new list of ingredients is exciting because in addition to having lots of products with new clinical ingredients with good research behind them, we're also looking at products that are widely available at all different price points," said Dr. Ranella Hirsch of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Hirsch points to peptides if your goal is younger, healthy looking skin. These chains of amino acids act as messengers.

"Peptides signal the skin to make more collagen. They're small molecules and they're easily able to penetrate the skin to send these messages along," said Hirsch.

Licorice root extract has its roots in eastern medicine. Dermatologists say it is a potent anti-inflammatory, and so are products containing feverfew.

"It also has been shown to be very effective in treating skin that's red, skin that's very sensitive and even has been shown to improve patients that have acne," explained Dr. Patricia Farris of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Quercetin is a super anti-oxidant that promises to protect against free radicals. Hirsch says you can also go for grape seed extract.

"It's particularly helpful to protect the skin from premature aging as a result of sun damage," said Hirsch.

Mary is stuck on the lotion she layers and so are her friends!

"A number of people have commented on my skin and how much better it looks now," Mary said.

Our experts agree that a simple skin care regimen is best. They recommend adding one new product at a time to your lineup. That way, you'll be able to tell what works best and what irritates your skin. Also, don't be afraid to ask your dermatologist questions.

Patricia K Farris, M.D.

Patricia K Farris, M.D. of the American Academy of Dermatology is a clinical assistant professor at Tulane University School of Medicine where she received her master's degree in physiology, medical degree and residency training in dermatology. She is in private practice at Old Metairie Dermatology in Metairie, Louisiana. Her practice includes general, surgical and cosmetic dermatology with a focus on cutting edge non-invasive techniques for facial rejuvenation.

Dr. Farris is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), and a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS)and the International Society for Cosmetic Dermatology. She is also a member of the prestigious American Dermatologic Association (ADA).

Dr. Farris has chaired numerous committees and task forces for the American Academy of Dermatology and serves as a spokesperson for her specialty. She received two presidential citations from the AAD for her outstanding efforts as a communicator and for her work as chairman of the communication council for the Academy. She also served as chairman of communications for the Women's Dermatologic Society and is the current chair of the Media Relations Task Force for the ASDS. She has appeared in over 200 health-related television segments on dermatology and has been quoted extensively in newspaper and magazine articles on a variety of topics related to skin care. Dr. Farris is also a regular featured guest on the top rated WWL-TV Morning Show in New Orleans.

Dr. Farris is known for her expertise in the treatment of aging skin specifically the use of topical agents and cosmeceuticals and has lectured internationally on this subject. She is a sought after consultant for cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies because of her interest in skin care formulations and their use in skin rejuvenation. Dr. Farris has authored over 25 publications and given over 100 scientific presentations. She serves on the editorial Council for Dermatology Times and the editorial board for Cosmetic Dermatology, Journal of Drugs in Dermatology and The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.

The following ingredients were listed in this story:

  1. Peptides
  2. Licorice Root Extract: This is often listed on product packaging as Licochalcone A (licorice extract).
  3. Feverfew
  4. Quercetin
  5. Grape Seed Extract

Both Dr. Hirsch and Dr. Farris are not compensated by any of the companies shown in this story.

According to Dr. Farris and Dr. Hirsch, the other ingredients on our list are backed by limited, company-based, clinical research.

Dr. Farris says each of these ingredients shows a great deal of promise, although more study is needed. Dr. Farris also says that although studies are limited, this does not necessarily mean a product does not work. She says it is important for new skin care products to be in the marketplace in order for dermatologists to know how effective they are going to be. Dr. Hirsch adds that consumers should be as educated as possible when trying these new products out.

List of products featured in the story:

  1. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer
  2. Vichy Liftactiv CxP Night
  3. Vichy Liftactiv Cxp Anti-Wrinkling Eyelid Lifting Care
  4. Patricia Wexler MD Advanced Injection Smoother
  5. Eucerin Redness Relief
  6. Eucerin Senstive Facial Skin
  7. Korres Quercetin & Oak Anti-wrinkle Night Cream
  8. Jergen's Naturals Skin Renewing
  9. Garnier Skin Renew